How to Remove Wallpaper

Wallpaper removing tips

Wallpaper was a huge fad in the past, but has since gone VERY out of style.

 We’ve removed wallpaper more times than we can count, and now we are giving you the inside scoop on the absolute best way to get’r done! 


  • Drop Cloths

  • Paint Tray & Roller

  • Broomstick 

  • Fabric Softener

  • Putty Knife 

  • Fat Headed Screw Driver 

  • Hot water 

  • Spray Bottle (optional) 

  • Sponge 

1. Prepare Yourself and the Room

We’re not going to sugar coat this for you - removing wallpaper is a messy, tedious and time-consuming job. Make sure you are dressed in clothes you don't mind getting dirty. 

Block off the room from potential trouble such as pets or children and then proceed to place drop cloths at the base of the walls that need to be stripped. If possible tuck the drop cloth under the trim to ensure complete coverage. Then proceed to remove all switch plate and outlet covers from the walls. Be sure to double check the walls for any lingering nails, hooks, or any other item that may slow you down later. 

2. Tear Off Wallpaper

Make the next step a little bit easier and tear off any already peeling wallpaper. 

3. Mix your Solution 

  There are countless commercial products available for removing wallpaper, yet we have not found anything that works better than hot water and fabric softener. Mix a 2:1 solution of hot water and fabric softener in a paint tray.

3. Soak Walls 

  Use your roller to generously apply the solution to one whole wall. The solution needs to soak for a bit, so by the time you get to the end of the wall, the beginning should be fairly saturated. Apply more solution just incase. (The wetter the walls, the easier it will be to remove the wallpaper). 

4. Strip Wallpaper 

  Grab pieces of wallpaper where they have begun to peel away and gently pull upwards. Use a putty knife to help you. Continue these steps until you have removed all of the wallpaper and the glue underneath. Spray bottles and sponges are handy tools when dealing with especially difficult or hard to reach areas. 

5. Wash the Walls 

 Once all of the wallpaper and the majority of the glue have been removed, it’s time to wash the walls. 

 Fill a bucket with some dish detergent and hot water. Use a sponge or rags to wash down the walls, scrubbing carefully to ensure you have removed all traces of the wallpaper adhesive. For best results, wash the walls twice (yes twice, but the good news is that you have a rhythm going and you’ve got this!). 

6. Rinse & Dry the Walls 

   Using fresh water and a fresh sponge or rag, rinse down the walls and remove excess water with a clean towel. 

Congratulations - You did it! Now to clean up the mess ….

DIY Network, Family Handyman

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